One of the nation’s leading farm bill experts is slated to speak at the 2018 S.C. AgriBiz & Farm Expo Jan. 18 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C.
Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C., will speak at a 9 a.m. session on Thursday, Jan. 18. Thatcher, one of the best known farm lobbyists in Washington, will provide an outlook on the 2018 farm bill, discuss water issues on a national level and highlight immigration issues that impact farm labor.
“Mary Kay Thatcher is well known and respected on Capitol Hill for her vast knowledge of the farm bill. She also has a great understanding of how the various policy issues in Washington impact farmers. This really is a must attend session for farmers and others who want to know what to expect as Congress begins debate on the next farm bill,” said Jody Martin, executive director of the Expo.
Thatcher has worked as a lobbyist for AFBF for 30 years. She lobbies Congress on issues covering farm programs, crop insurance, conservation, credit and big data. She served in the “first” Bush administration as a political appointee as the director of congressional affairs of the Farm Credit Administration.
Prior to joining AFBF in 1982, Thatcher served as a legislative assistant for agriculture and trade to Sen. Roger Jepsen of Iowa. She is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned degrees in animal science and agricultural economics. Thatcher is a fifth generation Iowa farmer. She grew up on a 500-acre Iowa beef, hay and corn farm. She now manages a farm in Iowa producing corn and soybeans, as well as a cow/calf operation.
In addition to Thatcher, other speakers at the expo, set for Jan. 17-18, include Dr. Ron Heiniger, North Carolina State University Extension cropping systems specialist who has national reputation for guiding farmers on achieving maximum yields, and Kevin Matthews, a Yadkin County, N.C. who has been recognized for achieving maximum soybean and corn yields and has spoken to farm groups across the country.
Heiniger and Matthews will speak in two separate sessions on Thursday, Jan. 18: a morning session on achieving maximum soybean yields and an afternoon session on achieving maximum corn yields.
In addition, an ag outlook and marketing session is set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Clemson economists Nathan Smith, Scott Mickey and Bernt Nelson will deliver economic forecasts and provide marketing guidance for both crop and livestock producers.
Martin says the 2018 S.C. AgriBiz & Farm Expo is designed as a “one stop shop” for farmers as they plan for the year ahead. In addition to the slate of nationally known speakers and other educational sessions, the expo includes a farm show with a wide variety of equipment, farm products and supplies. Admission is free.
For more information, access the expo website at http://scagribizexpo.com/.